Iowa’s Brad Banks Named One Of The Top QBs Of The 2000s
Perhaps no Iowa football player overcame obscurity and shot to stardom quite like quarterback Brad Banks. He was Iowa's starting quarterback for just one season. But what a season it was. Despite the small sample size, Banks' legacy at Iowa has landed him on a list of the top college quarterbacks of the 2000s.
ESPN has put out a list of the top 75 college quarterbacks of the 2000s. It features names you'd expect to see like Joe Burrow, Tim Tebow, Vince Young, and Baker Mayfield. Most quarterbacks on the list played multiple seasons at powerhouse programs. But Iowa only got one year with Brad Banks. The magical 2001-2002 season. Hawkeye Wire reports that despite only playing one year, you could argue that Banks had one of the top statistical seasons in Iowa football history. Just look at these numbers.
Stats: 3,155 passing yards, 58% completion rate, 30 passing TD, 7 interceptions, 7 rushing TD.
That Iowa team, led by Banks, won 11 games and played USC in the Orange Bowl. Sure, that game didn't go Iowa's way, but it put the Hawkeye football program on the map under Kirk Ferentz.
It was a great year for Banks on the awards circuit too. The Iowa QB won the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's top collegiate quarterback and was the runner-up to USC's Carson Palmer for the Heisman Trophy. That season was full of amazing games, but the one I remember most is the home game against Purdue. I remember it was Pumpkinfest in Anamosa and we were watching the game at Tucker's on Main Street. Iowa trailed late and faced a crucial 4th down. It was time for some Brad Banks magic.
I've never heard a group of Hawkeye fans cheer louder. Screaming could be heard up and down the street, as Iowa fans celebrated. It was the beginning of a season to remember in Iowa City. We only had one year of Brad Banks at the University of Iowa. But what a mark he left on the Iowa program.